Undergoing Orthodontics? Foods To Avoid


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Going thru orthodontic treatment can be challenging for children, teens, and adults. One of the major benefits of invisalign orthodontic treatment is the ability to eat whatever you want. What about those undergoing more traditional orthodontic treatment? Unfortunately for you there will need to be adjustments if you wish to have a successful result when completed.

Certain foods can wreak havoc on brackets and wires as well as an increase in tooth decay and staining.

Foods and Habits To Avoid

It is always recommended for everyone to follow a well balanced diet as this will give you the most benefit in your overall health as well as your dental health. The following are the food types to avoid to give you the best chance for orthodontic and dental health success:

Avoid Sticky and High Sugar Foods. Cutting back on hard (example nerds), sticky (example milk duds), and gummy candies, white bread, donuts, oreos, etc. are generally a good choice even without orthodontic braces. While wearing orthodontic brackets and wires these sticky and acidic foods will stay trapped between the brackets and wires. This increases the chances of developing tooth decay during orthodontic treatment. These sticky food items can also lead to increased chance of broken wires and brackets.

-Avoid High Acid/High Sugar Beverages.  Soft drinks with high acid and high sugar can break down the bracket bonds and cause loosening of brackets, staining and tooth decay. Alcoholic beverages have higher acidic content, dry out the mouth and can lead to tooth decay. Red wine may cause staining of the teeth and adhesive bond material around orthodontic brackets.

Eat Smaller Pieces Of Food. Cut your food into smaller pieces and avoid biting into foods if possible. Break pieces off with your fingers or use a knife and fork. This will make them less harmful to your braces. Large pieces of something as seemingly harmless as an apple can have the effect of breaking down your brackets and loosening them. Broken brackets require increased visits to the orthodontist and can potentially delay treatment results and increase cost. Biting into large sandwiches, gnawing on ribs or chicken wings, nibbling on a cob of corn, can all cause loosening of brackets.  A good tip is to cut the apple into smaller pieces, take the meat off the bones and slice the kernels off the cob.

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Orthodontic Treatment – Braces

Avoid Hard, Crunchy, Chewy Snacks. This includes popcorn, corn nuts, hard pretzels, beef jerky, bagels, pizza crusts. These can break orthodontic brackets and once again delay orthodontic care.

Biting Or Chewing On Non-Edible Items. Nervous habits can do harm to our braces. These can include biting on nails, pens or pencils, using tooth picks.

Bubble Gum. Bubble gum is the enemy of braces. It gets stuck inside all the grooves of the brackets and wires.

Ice. Chewing ice can damage the bond between your teeth and your braces. There is also a good chance you can fracture your teeth as well.

Highly Staining Foods and Smoking. If you are wearing clear (white) porcelain brackets, or any elastics, they can stain from red wine, tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, and cigarette smoke. While it may seem like all foods are harmful there are plenty of healthy alternative snacks that do not harm your orthodontic braces. These can include yogurt, jell-o, pudding, cheese, and even chocolate bars (without nuts of course).

What Can You Eat With Orthodontic Braces?

There is some good news….not every tasty food is off limits for people who wear orthodontic braces. There are still plenty of food choices that you can safely eat with braces. Below are just a few of them:

  • Yogurt Smoothies
  • Soups and chili
  • Yogurt
  • Bananas and other soft fruits
  • Applesauce
  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Tuna and tofu
  • Potatoes (especially mashed)
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • Macaroni ‘n’ cheese, ravioli and other soft pasta dishes
  • Thin and light crackers or cookies

Orthodontics Conclusion

Orthodontic care will lead to an improved smile as long as you follow good habits. You need to be diligent in caring for your braces and maintaining good at home dental hygiene. Follow the instructions from your orthodontist, and avoid harmful foods and habits. Doing your best should help you avoid many problems, wasted time, embarrassing staining of teeth, and dental decay. Visit your dentist every 3 months during orthodontic treatment and continue with routine dental examinations.

If you are ready for a smile makeover, contact Marielaina Perrone DDS at (702) 458-2929 to schedule a no cost cosmetic consultation appointment. We cannot wait to help you with your smile makeover to create the smile of your dreams in Summerlin, Henderson, and Las Vegas, NV.

Author Biomarielaina perrone dds las vegas nv

Marielaina Perrone, DDS, is a highly experienced and dedicated dental professional passionate about delivering exceptional patient care. With over 20 years of experience in the dental industry, Dr. Perrone is widely regarded as a leading authority in her field, with a reputation for providing innovative solutions and personalized care to her patients.